Yes there are pram nazis who are wholly inconsiderate or try to ram everyone out of the way. But most of us are just trying to get around and do what we need to do, acutely self conscious of being in the way in a society that for all the working families hype is about as child friendly as a Burmese razor blade factory.
So I need some obsessive compulsive to pester me unnecessarily about as much as I need a full length Justin Timberlake tattoo.
I'm in the main Northcote Shopping Centre newsagency all of 15 seconds trying to decide between AFR, Monthly and Guardian (yeah I know, not much consistency there) when the shop gent asks me to move the pram. He's polite, and fair enough- although I observe there's comfortably room for 2 people to walk in side by side, and there's no-one else in the shop at all, nonetheless I've unintentionally left it at a slight angle, using a fraction more space than necessary.
S'ok, I straighten and move it slightly further to the side. Now you could drive a motorbike in beside it with no risk of annoying Bear with the exhaust.
I turn back to the Monthly.
A nanosecond ticks.
He steps back towards me: "Very sorry [no, if you were sorry you'd fuck off and leave me alone] but it's still in the way could you move it some more?"
Now some of you who've experienced pram nazi conduct may at this point think I'm playing this up. But I assure you, at this point there was well over a metre completely free, still no people looking like they'd be coming in, and only another 20cm to the wall in which I could move the pram.
I moved it the 20cm.
A nanosecond ticked.
I put back the Monthly and strolled out. No purchase today. I felt not a little annoyed at this whole Pinteresque incident. Want to know why?
Because I spend my whole time going around people, trying not to be a nuisance, reassuring Bear, loading groceries into a basket while pushing the pram, reassuring Bear some more, giving her something to eat, going around more people, finicking, faffing, and generally working hard to make the journey as smooth as possible and I don't need some obsessive tool whose - see it for yourself if you're in the area - entrance is largely blocked by buckets of crap and junk anyway, like a cross between a newsagency and a $2 shop, harassing me because he obviously has a nervous twitch about, or active dislike towards, prams and people therewith.
Funnily enough, as I strolled away I thought of a completely novel use for the bag of fish fillets I was carrying.
A new New Deal? - I’ll be talking to the Fabian Society in Melbourne on Wednesday night, looking at the failure of neoliberalism and options for a new “New Deal”.
15 hours ago